American Gods by Neil Gaiman
How to describe American Gods? It’s a roadtrip book with magical realism that explores the relationship of theology in the creation of America. It’s wonderful and rich and full of layers. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read.
Shadow is about to be released from a three-year stint in prison when he finds out his wife, whom he has been looking forward to returning to, has died in a car crash, and his best friend, who had a job for him, was in that same crash. Everything Shadow had planned for him, his life after prison, is gone in a moment, and he’s left with nothing, no prospects, no friends, no life. When a mysterious stranger offers him a job he can’t refuse (like, literally can’t), his life takes a twist into one of gods, strangeness, heists, and a search for himself across the depths of America in epic proportions. That’s the basic beginning, but this book is so much more.
This is some of Gaiman’s best writing. It’s complex, detailed, and puts the reader on Shadow’s strange journey without any hesitation.
There are so many layers and Gods this book deserves multiple readings, and I’m happy to partake in them.
It was slow-going for me not because the story was boring or lacking, but because it was so rich it took me time to process and think and wrap my brain around it. I wanted to enjoy it, to savor it, to dive into it rathe than to just rush through and mark it as “read”. It deserves a slow boil, but the result is worth it.